Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 12:55 UK

Belgians in Rockall broadcast bid

Greenpeace activists on Rockall
Greenpeace activists stayed on the island in 1997

A team of Belgian radio enthusiasts were due to set off for the North Atlantic islet of Rockall where they hope to make a series of broadcasts.

The volcanic rock is 100ft wide and 70ft high and a 250-mile boat trip from Stornoway on the Western Isles.

Electrical engineer Patrick Godderie is leading the expedition, which will set up a temporary home on Rockall in a specially designed shelter.

Skipper Angus Smith, from Inverness, was to take the team on the trip.

In the past Ireland, Iceland and Denmark have lain claim to the rock and to the possible huge oil and gas reserves surrounding it.

Rockall act

The earliest recorded landing on Rockall was believed to be in 1810, by an officer called Basil Hall from the HMS Endymion.

Its exact position was first charted by Royal Navy surveyor Captain ATE Vidal in 1831.

In 1972, the Isle of Rockall Act was passed, which claimed to make the rock officially part of Inverness-shire, Scotland.

UK sovereignty extends to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea around Rockall, under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In 1997, Greenpeace activists opposed to oil and gas exploration landed on the island, stayed for 42 days, replaced the navigational beacon with a solar-powered one and declared Rockall the sovereign territory of Waveland.

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